The latest Netflix movie, True Spirit, follows the life of Australian teen Jessica Watson, who at age 16 sought to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop, and unsupported across the world.
A new documentary, available on streaming services as of late, documents her perilous attempt to become the first person under the age of 16 to round the globe by sail.
Where, if anywhere, is Jessica Watson now, and how true is the account in True Spirit? Everything you need to know is listed here.
Is The Netflix Film True Spirit Based On Real Events?
The incredible events depicted in True Spirit actually occurred to Jessica Watson.
Watson set off in a 10-meter yacht on October 18, 2009, from Sydney, Australia, and returned on May 15, 2010, three days before her 17th birthday.
Watson spent 210 days at sea, enduring storms, months of isolation, and waves as high as 12 meters, all while having to maintain and repair her vessel and its components.
She made it around the world, but whether or not she holds the record for youngest circumnavigator is up for debate because of disagreements about how many nautical miles she actually sailed.
Click here to watch True Spirit
Watson stated at the time, “I wanted to challenge myself and achieve something I could be proud of. Yes, I hoped to motivate others.
I detested having people’s opinions of me based on how I looked and what they thought a “small girl” should be able to do. Now, it’s not only a fantasy or a journey of mine. Every accomplishment I make out here is a collective one, the result of the hard work of many people.
In 2012, Watson received the Order of Australia Medal for his service to sailing and to youth as a role model for young Australians for his accomplishment of sailing solo and unassisted around the world.
To Which Actors Does True Spirit Belong?
Watson is played by Titan’s Teagan Croft, whose parents are portrayed by Anna Paquin (True Blood) and Josh Lawson (House of Lies).
Their sailing instructor, Ben, is played by Cliff Curtis (Avatar: The Way of Water).
Croft explained his decision to play Raven on Titans by saying, “Playing Raven on Titans, it’s purple hair, extremely melancholy.
In order to ensure that I could play Jess on “True Spirit,” the producers wanted to make sure that I wasn’t actually like that. They recognized that I could pull off perky when I made a few jokes and comments. This type of work is much more within my expertise.
I’d never had the chance to perform in my native accent before, so that was a real treat. So glad that weight is off my shoulders.
Croft elaborated by saying that she and Watson had gone sailing together and had supper together before the shoot.
According to Croft, “It was so uncomfortable and awkward at first. Oddly, I started to feel guilty, like, “Hello, I’m playing you.” But she handled it so sweetly, and we now get along fabulously.
Jessica’s Sailboat Circumnavigated The Globe
The film is based on true occurrences, despite its seemingly fantastic premise. Naturally, then, Jessica received a lot of attention when she returned home after her adventure.
According to the Australian Museum, Jessica was motivated to attempt a circumnavigation of the globe by reading Lionheart, the autobiography of Jesse Martin. She logged 6,000 miles along the coast and 6,000 miles at sea in preparation for her expedition over the course of several years, as documented by the Australian Museum.
The video was taken from YouTube and imported. You could find the same material in a different format, or even more material, on their website.
In her acceptance speech, Jessica said, “I’m just a regular girl who had faith in her dream.” You don’t need to be special to perform extraordinary things. You just need a goal, faith, and effort to achieve it.
Is Jessica Watson Still Alive?
When Jessica returned home from her trip around the world in May 2010, she was 16 years old. Soon after, she became a founder member of the marine start-up Deckee.com and was elected Youth Representative for the United Nations World Food Program. She has also published a second book, a novel titled Indigo Blue, and earned an MBA.